On July 8, a little more than two weeks into Road Trip 2009, CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman posted this picture, challenging readers to identify what the yellow ball is. His thought was that this might be a fun, interactive, task that could get people involved.
Of the 23 daily challenges, this one generated the most interesting responses--from nuclear radiation measuring equipment (the photo was taken in Arco, Idaho, the first town in America to ever be powered by nuclear energy), to a recycling bin, to a Cloudbuster, to a portable nuclear/electric power-generating device for military use in remote areas. No one seemed entirely sure what the answer was.
The truth was, I didn't either. (In subsequent days, I always knew what the picture was). But it turns out the yellow ball--and the other one just like it down the same block in Arco--is a former marker strung along power lines so that pilots can see the lines. A little less interesting than a portable nuclear energy-generating device, but there you have it.
Thanks to everyone who participated. And stay tuned for the Road Trip 2010 picture of the day challenge next summer.
Eventually, since I offered a prize to each day's winner, I had to cap the number of times someone could win at two. That was because of one Florida gentleman who, by my last count, was the first person with the right answer six times, and came in second three times. He is, it seems, a master of search terms.
The Road Trip picture of the day challenge for July 13--I missed a day on July 12--this is one of the late artist Starr Kempf's incredible kinetic sculptures, as seen on display in front of his family's Colorado Springs, Colo., house.
The Road Trip picture of the day challenge for July 25, this is the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Falconry Heritage Wing at the Archives of Falconry at the World Center for Birds of Prey, in Boise, Idaho.
The Road Trip picture of the day challenge for July 30, this is Wind River Canyon in central Wyoming. More people got this one wrong than any other--except perhaps the yellow balls. Many people thought it was the Royal Gorge in Colorado.
The Road Trip picture of the day challenge for July 31, and the last challenge of Road Trip 2009, this is Union Pacific Railroad train No. 119. In 1869, it met up with the Central Pacific Railroad's Jupiter, at Promontory, Utah, forming the Transcontinental Railroad. The site is now celebrated at the Golden Spike National Historic Site.